Netflix ‘Hubie Halloween’ is Adam Sandler’s most successful film in years

Netflix ‘Hubie Halloween’ is Adam Sandler’s most successful film in years
Netflix ‘Hubie Halloween’ is Adam Sandler’s most successful film in years

Julie Bowen and Adam Sandler in “Hubie Halloween”


With heavy word of mouth and better reviews than any live-action mainstream comedy by Adam Sandler since The wedding singer, the deliberate throwback to his A-level movie star days is going to be a holiday favorite.

Hubie Halloween is the most popular movie this weekend on Netflix and almost certainly the most watched movie this weekend. The kid-friendly Halloween comedy, sort of a new riff in Jim Varney’s Ernest P. Worrell films, was originally seen as Sandler’s delivery of a threat to make a deliberately horrific movie if he couldn’t win an Oscar for Uncut gemstones. Not only is this not the movie (which was shot before the awards season), it’s one of Sandler’s most iconic live-action comedies. Its 50% “fresh” (5.2 / 10 average reviewer score) Rotten tomatoes The rating makes it Sandler’s top-rated live-action comedy since then The wedding singer That makes sense since the film is a wanton ode to the underdog’s fantasy comedies Der Waterboy when That’s my boy, that made Sandler a mega-star in the first place.

The wedding singer transformed Sandler from a popular comic book actor into a multi-quadrant movie star. The intentionally upbeat and “sweet” romantic comedy starring Drew Barrymore was one of the few films to open during this period Titanic‘s four month reign of Terror leading the story and living to tell the story. It opened on Valentine’s Day weekend with a $ 19 million debut for Fri-Mon, and hit $ 80.2 million domestically in part through lovesickness Titanic Fans another, but no less sincere, romantic melodrama for the date night. The film achieved 68% freshness and was considered a “surprisingly good” Sandler comedy even then. It would get him on the A-List, but it would be his last well-reviewed large studio live-action picture. If Wedding singer Then an era of 1980s nostalgia broke out Hubie Halloween is rooted in nostalgia when Sandler was a top notch movie star.

The film is a throwback to the vehicles of the late 90s / early 2000s Der Waterboy ($ 185 million on a $ 23 million budget), Big dad (235 million USD / 34 million USD / 1999) and Mr. Deeds ($ 171 million / $ 50 million / 2002) that defined Sandler’s mainstream comic vehicle. The films offered an outsider sentimentality and “Am I a stinker?” Innocence, along with a strong undercurrent of “snobs versus slobs” or “wide-eyed innocent triumphs over the know-it-all tropes.” They had their share of PG-13 vulgarity and “boyish humor” (they were textbook-specific escapist fantasies), but the more popular ones had overall decency and kindness (even if Happy Gilmore was a violent psychopath himself who happened to be our protagonist ). Notably, they often climaxed with Sandler’s character who “won” by deliberately donating the “MacGuffin” (adopted child, his father’s company, $ 40 billion inheritance, etc.) for the common good.

At a time when a studio could make its fortune with star-powered originals and high-profile adaptations, Adam Sandler’s mainstream comic book vehicles regularly bagged $ 31-48 million on opening weekends from 1998 (Der Waterboy) until 2010 (Just take part) to become Sony’s largest “franchise”. But even then, the audience wasn’t always ready to turn away from the formula. The fantastic and the comparatively ambitious Smaller Nicky Bombed in late 2000 ($ 58 million on a $ 85 million budget) while celebrating Paul Thomas Anderson Blow drunken love (A dark rom-com that was as much a deconstruction of Sandler’s comic book personality as The cable type was about as good as a Paul Thomas Anderson film ($ 24.7 million worldwide) would be expected for Jim Carrey). How The onion satirical, but to put it correctly, the fans were “disappointed” with his “intelligent, nuanced performance”.

The crowd also didn’t appear for Judd Apatow’s deeply personal and rambling comedic melodrama Funny people. The comparatively good rated (69% in 2009) but divisive (compared to Knocked Up and The 40-year-old virgin) Film about a comedian who receives a final diagnosis and tries to rekindle himself with a long-time romantic interest (Leslie Mann) that was bombarded with $ 71 million worldwide and a budget of $ 75 million. It has been argued that the failure of that film, along with overwhelming receptions for the 9/11 drama Rule over me in 2007 and Spanglish In 2004, Sandler essentially led him to “give up” on more sophisticated mainstream comic vehicles. This is no different from my own theory that Tyler Perry was utterly rejected For colored girls (clearly intended to be his saying Schindlers List) Ten years ago Perry stopped trying to become a better filmmaker, but I digress.

In Sandler’s vehicles in the mid-2000s, the actor switched from the underdog to the man who had already won in life. This is not unlike Steven Spielberg Kiefer and AND to Minority message and Die Post, with blue-collar protagonists who resist the system against protagonists of the world’s best who come into conflict in the representation of the system. That’s not a criticism, but it can explain why Catch Me If You Can protrudes in his posthook Filmography. There is a difference between Mr. Deeds, about an everyday “Schlub” who instantly becomes a billionaire and films like click, Adults, mixed and even You don’t mess with the mess (with him as Israeli super spy) where Sandler’s protagonists are financially secure adults who learn to appreciate their success and / or bring their families on lavish vacations. Even his (surprisingly good) Hotel Transilvanien Toons mark him as a successful hotel owner Count Dracula.

When Sandler tried to regain “head start” on strange projects like his Jack and Jill ($ 150 million on a budget of $ 79 million in 2011) and the R-rated That’s my boy (which positioned Sandler as Andy Samberg’s terrible father and made just $ 58 million in 2012) the audience failed to appear. They also did not show up in the misguided nostalgia hunt Mixed (his third film, starring Drew Barrymore, grossing $ 128 million on a 2014 budget of $ 40 million) or the inexplicably vulgar and gatekeep-y Pixel (245 million USD / 88 million USD). Adults 2 ($ 247 million / $ 80 million in 2013) didn’t help Sandler any more than Men in Black 3 Will Smith “helped”. Along with the general demise of the star-studded comedy, Sandler went from hungry outsider to status quo adult. Like Eddie Murphy, we’ve gone from being a firecracker creating a comedy to a straight man who responds to a comedy in his midst.

Hubie Halloween Absolutely an old-school relapse into the “PG-13, but okay for kids”, mainstream, triumph of the outsider Adam Sandler. Hell, it even brings him back together Billy Madison Co-Star Julie Bowden. The film about an outcast in the city who spends his days making sure the citizens don’t run into problems that are put to the test when real danger arises on Halloween night is a “classic” sandler -Figure (stupid voice, man-child) personality, clumsy mannerisms, questionable intelligence, superior decency, etc.). While in some of these films Sandler’s protagonist realizes his own worth, this time it is the townspeople who finally come to appreciate their overzealous protector. It feels like an affirmation of the cultural value of the conventional Sadler comic vehicle, whose ode to oppressive decency and kindness is sharper in 2020 than in 2010.

Hubie Halloween is a knowing nostalgic throwback that deserves better reviews than the original articles. To be fair, those who grew up enjoy it Happy Gilmore the waterboy and Big dad now represent the adult critical establishment. It is also the same “safe for children” attitude that helped Hotel Transilvanienwith much of the downright vulgar (and gendered) issues kept in check, to family-friendly blockbusters. At $ 1.357 billion in three films, these toons are easily Sandler’s biggest hits. Most of the Netflix issues of Sandler were about being “nervous” (The ridiculous 6) or mid-life fights (Crimea). Hubie Halloween is arguably Sandler’s first Netflix film that positions itself as a kind of Sandler comic vehicle that made him a movie star. In terms of the critical response combined with the likely audience numbers Hubie Halloween is Sandler’s biggest live-action hit in an awfully long time.

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